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Korn
Feb 28th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Hi, I'm planning to set up a poll soon, to find out what the most common comments vegans get from non-vegans are. I made a list below, but before I make a poll out of it, comments are welcome if you have any. (In the list below I have included the first sentences that pops into my head when I come across these comments, but won't include them in the poll itself.)

1) Everybody should eat whatever they want to […but if someone eats an animal, that animal can’t eat whatever it wants to!]

2) Humans have always been eating animals. [There have been cultures that have been avoiding meat for thousands of years too. Plus, even if something has been going on for a long time it isn't necessarily right.]

3) The life of a human is more precious than the life of an animal

4) I like variation [So do vegans. Vegans normally eat more varied food on a vegan diet than they did before going vegan]

5) Some living creatures, like fish, can’t feel physical pain [To me, it looks like they do, and according to several studies they can feel pain. Besides, what do we know about their non-physical emotions? What do other animals feel when one of them is killed? Would you kill and eat ie. a human in coma, that was unable to feel pain or was not consciously aware of what was happening?]

6) Give me one good reason to become a vegan! [Here is one: there are no good arguments for eating animal products! We don’t even need to!]

7) Death is a natural part of life [That doesn't give us the right to kill.]

8) Animals kill each other too [Some do, some don’t. Why should we copy those who do?]

9) It’s natural to use dairy products. [Why are there no other animals who drink milk throughout their life then – from another species?]

10) I like meat [Most people like what they are brought up with. Habits can be changed – and changing them can be fun].

11) I just feel so good when eating animal products. [What do you compare with - have you ever tried a few weeks without?]

12) I give meat to my kids now, and when they grow up they can decide. I believe in freedom. It's unfair to force them to eat vegan food. [Nobody is against eating plants – isn’t it better to give them a diet where you won’t run the risk of feeding someone something they might disagree with later in life (when they find out what you have been giving them)? Why give them unhealthy habits that they might find it hard to drop? And, regarding freedom – what about the freedom of the animals? And why do you consider give meat to kids less 'forcing' than feeding them with a vegan diet?]

13) A number of studies say that eating animal products are associated with increased cancer risk and other serious health problems, but I don’t know - I guess there's only a 50/50 chance that this is correct… [What do you normally recommend when you or your kids have the choice between something that involved a 50% injury risk?]

14) To decide to go vegan is difficult for me [Did you ever actually decide that you want to eat animal foods?]

15) My decision to eat meat is based on my free will, I’m not influenced by anyone. [People normally end up with the diet they’re brought up with from their parents/society, but nobody will admit that they have been influenced by their past…]

16) I would never eat a dog, but I enjoy eating lamb [What’s the difference between a dog and a lamb, really?]

17) I know and love my pets, but not the lamb I eat [Is killing ethical if you don’t know or love the ones you kill? Did a judge or a lawyer ever say that it's OK to kill someone if you don't know them personally?]

18) When being a vegan, or raising vegan kids, you need to know what you do [Is there anything that indicates that this isn’t also the case (or even more of an issue) with meat eaters and the food they give their kids?]

19) I don’t care about good arguments, I follow my feelings [Since most people who have tried both say that they feel much better on a vegan diet – why not try before you decide?]

20) You’ll die or go blind if you don’t eat animal products [Donald Watson, who invented the term vegan in 1944, is still well alive after 60+ years on that diet (he's 94 now), and he is not blind!]

21) It’s not natural to eat a diet that means that you need supplements [1)Many vegans have been living for many years without supplements with no sign of deficiency 2) The animals you eat normally get supplements too - and a lot of them 3) People above 50 are adviced to take B12 as well, is it unnatural to live longer than 50 years? 4) We wouldn’t need those supplements in a natural world 5) You are wearing clothes – is that natural? 6) Eating cultivated vitamins (like vegan B12) that are made without harming anyone or anything isn’t that bad if you really need it, is it? 7) Meat eaters are deficient in at least as many nutrients as vegans!!!!]

22) Just by taking a walk you might unintentionally kill an insect [Unintentional killing doesn’t justify intentionally killing]

23) My religious belief tells me that I should eat meat - it’s not my own decision [If you have decided which religion to follow, it's your decision anyway?]

24) Some cultures are killing the animals they eat with respect If you think that you can respect someone and kill him at the same time, we simply have really different definitions of ’respect’. If someone killed someone you cared for, would it help if he said that he respected her?]

25) Where do you get your nutrients from? [From the same kind of sources that the animals you eat get them from - plants!]

26) I eat animal products to be on the safe side [Please read something about all the health problems associated with consuming animal products – an average meat eater is sick 10 years of his life.]

27) The studies that show that vegan food is healthy are made by vegans [No - these studies are normally made by meat eaters]

28) Meat harmful??? I think spending too much time with PC’s and cell phones is harmful! [You're probably right, but that doesn’t make eating animal products more healty!]

29) I believe in the middle way – no extreme choices, please. [What you define as extreme is based on what you are brought up with. A diet should be based on many different elements, but why combine healthy and unhealty ingredients? Ethical and unethical? If you are against murder, you don’t kill now and than – you ’fanatically’ avoid it.]

30) I wouldn’t enjoy having to eat something so different from what I eat now [But you do do enjoy vacations in countries where you try new foods every day, don't you?]

31) If we were meant to eat vegan food, it would have enough B12 in it. [Spend some time on veganforum.com reading about B12!]

32) The animals will get killed anyway! [No. In the long run, each animal you don’t eat, will result inone less animal being killed tomorrow].

33) Come on, taste this ******, it’s so good. [Most vegans have lived on the diet you’re on for many years. It’s you who haven’t tried our diet – not the other way round!]

34) But I need physical strength! [Have you noticed what elephants and horses and many athletes eat?]

35) Insects are killed in modern agriculture, so you are responsible for killing living beings anyway! [Try that one in court: ‘I’m already a killer, so what’s wrong with some more killing? Plus: 50% of all agriculture is used to produce food for animals living in factory farms, waiting to become your dinner!]

36) Plants have feelings too. [While fish, birds and animals do whatever they can not to be killed, and look like they suffer when they are killed, I haven’t seen any plants yet that try to escape - or heard them scream].

37) Humans have the same physiology as meat eating animals [Try Google, or read this thread: http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1194 ].

38) Why don't you eat meat? [Asking why people don’t do something is a bit upside down, isn’t it? Why don’t you give me a good argument pro eating animal products instead (besides that you obviously like the taste)?]

39) Don’t you think producing millions of synthetic shoes etc. is a bad idea, and will cause pollution? [Agree, and there are better solutions.]

40) If you were really hungry, on a desert island, and there was a rabbit there – wouldn’t you eat it? If there was a rabbit there, there would be plants there as well. Like any child on this planet who were given the choice between trying to kill than animal with their bare hands and eat it afterwards, and eating ie. a carrot, I’d instinctively go for the carrot. Wouldn't you too? Anyway, do we agree that avoiding eating animals is the best solutions when [i]not stranded on a desert island?;)

41) Honestly, what did you feel when you had the first meal after you decided to let go of dairy products?

42) I tried being a veg’n once, but was hungry all the time [You might need to learn a little more about how to get/make food that satisfies you. The transition time isn’t that long. But you can’t just remove the animal products from your old diet – the result would be both boring and unsatisfying.]

43) Plant eaters’ babies are born smaller [That all depends on the diet of the mother. If you are pregnant and really want the baby to be huge when it’s born, we know what nutrients that are needed to promote fetus growth and result in big babies. Let us know if you are pregnant and interested...]

44) Fish must be OK to eat – they haven’t had a life on factory farms? [Neither you or your cat are raised on a factory farm… but does that give me the desire - or right - to kill and eat you?]

45) We need animal products for protein, iron, cholesterol, Omega-3, sinc, calcium etc. [No, we don’t. Try a book! :) ]

46) I'm OK with eating meat from an animal if I know the meat is organic. [It might be OK with you, but is it OK with the animal?]

47) But the animals I eat aren’t important for me! [Maybe you’re not important for them either? They are important for [I]them!]

48) Humans are at the top of the food chain [Why did you choose to believe in that theory?]

49) Each to their own. [This one obviously doesn't include taking the freedom of the ones they choose to eat into consideration]

50) But the animal won't become alive again even if I don't eat this piece of meat! [Maybe you need some sleep? :)]

veganblue
Feb 28th, 2005, 12:23 AM
"....Well, I don't eat much meat..."

This is the one I get most often. I think that the person saying this is trying to find some common ground. One person who said this had just eaten three meat meals without thinking about it - and if you have diary etc...?!

My smiling response is "I don't eat much meat either...." :D

Great list Korn. :)

feline01
Feb 28th, 2005, 01:36 AM
Along with #12, I've heard, "It's unfair that you are forcing your children to be vegan" (isn't it more unfair that you are forcing your child to eat dead animal that has been proven to be unhealthy?)

Imapeach
Feb 28th, 2005, 02:33 AM
"But if we didn't eat meat all the farming animals would become extinct/take over the planet!" :rolleyes:

It's also hard to put in a poll the non-verbal statements one can receive, such as death-looks, raised eyebrows, laughing sadistically, being ignored/patronized.... etc

But excellent list! wow.... u must've had a productive day coming up with all that! :D

Korn
Feb 28th, 2005, 11:01 AM
Along with #12, I've heard, "It's unfair that you are forcing your children to be vegan" (isn't it more unfair that you are forcing your child to eat dead animal that has been proven to be unhealthy?)

I might keep a post in the thread with some comments, and include that one - thanks (see above). I'll also add 'But what do you eat??? Plants? Isn't that boring?'

Stu
Feb 28th, 2005, 12:16 PM
Of course, there's the all-time classic, "So what DO you eat?"

Answer: What - do you want a list? Well how long have you got!?

feline01
Feb 28th, 2005, 03:41 PM
"But if we didn't eat meat all the farming animals would become extinct/take over the planet!" :rolleyes:

It's also hard to put in a poll the non-verbal statements one can receive, such as death-looks, raised eyebrows, laughing sadistically, being ignored/patronized.... etc

But excellent list! wow.... u must've had a productive day coming up with all that! :D

Oh yeah, forgot about that one. I've had that thrown at me quite a few times. "The domesticated animals can't take care of themselves, they'd just die if we all went vegan." Aren't they all going to be murdered painfully after living horrible lives by people who aren't vegan anyway?

l337_v3g4n_1
Feb 28th, 2005, 04:00 PM
I got this from my friend: "You have to raise your kid as an omnivore, otherwise your are pushing you beliefs on him/her!" Stupid stupid stupid....

laura1983
Feb 28th, 2005, 11:01 PM
"But if we didn't eat meat all the farming animals would become extinct/take over the planet!" :rolleyes:



It makes me so angry when non-vegans give that response when i tell them im vegan. They make it sound like if everyone suddenly became vegan there would be this massive increase in cows/sheep etc and they would breed so rapidly that they would take over the whole planet like something out of a dodgy science fiction novel! Have they never heard of artifical insemination!!!!!!

John
Mar 1st, 2005, 04:38 AM
It's pretty silly since most livestock are either female or castrated males. Really, all you would have to do is keep the studs (who usually don't even get to see a female) away from the females. That's if you want to get into preposterous hypothetical situations.

chakra
Mar 1st, 2005, 01:38 PM
My cousin has a leather store. He blamed me for a leather shortage once.

Stu
Mar 1st, 2005, 02:28 PM
Grr... That makes me angry.

I've actually known of butchers to criticise vegetarians, because they "take business away from them". Now THAT makes me boil with rage.

For many (or even most) people, money is the single most important thing in life, and literally anything can be sacrificed for its obtention.

Lucy
Mar 1st, 2005, 03:28 PM
Oh thats a great list! I think i've heard all of those over the years! :rolleyes:

Recently I was told that a reason that my beliefs are wrong is because "you can never change it, it will always be the way it is today" (refering to the meat trade), which really made me feel down, as though it is hopeless. Really though, what does that say for the human race? Should we all just give up now?!?

HELL NO! :D

For a start there are so many vegetarians, let alone vegans, and our numbers are growing. Thats because people are finding out the truth.

I really feel that a lot of the statements in this list are made because people are uninformed and ignorant, and a lot of the time they don't care that they are. For instance; i heard someone trying to explain the conditions of factory farmed chickens to an uniformed woman just before she was about to have lunch, she said;

"Don't tell me! It will put me off my lunch!" and tucked into her chicken sandwich.

Ignorance is bliss. :(

Lucy
Mar 1st, 2005, 03:35 PM
And another thing!

I don't like it when people try and go off topic to win arguments. For example;

"in eating wheat you promote the use of intensive farming and the deaths of the wild animals that are mangled in the machinery"

or

"vegetarians and vegans are so unfocused. They should care about all the people that are dying every day from poverty and war, but they're too busy thinking of the animals!"

:mad: AARGH!

For a start, I care about these things aswell, i'm part of an anti-war coalition, which is more than i can say for the person who said this! Anyway, in being vegan at least we're trying to do something to help.

The people who said these statements had nothing to show that they'd done anything from the information they had.

celtic rose
Mar 1st, 2005, 03:45 PM
Korn, please keep the answers alongside the omni comments. It's great to see a ready made snappy comeback for all those times it escapes you in conversation. :)

#50 "The animal is dead anyway." My response would be "And why is that?" or "because of you"

Excellent list!

Kim[ba]
Mar 1st, 2005, 05:00 PM
The people who said these statements had nothing to show that they'd done anything from the information they had.
That basically sums up the reason we hear all 50 statements above. Certain people feel awkward knowing that they have acknowledged enviormental problems, horrific conditions of factory farming, but they have chosen the "easy" way of not changing. It makes them feel threatened to know that someone else has made the change, because they know they are not doing the best they could be doing for the enviorment, and the life of other animals.

1vegan
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:33 PM
"Isn't that extreme ? "

*sighs :rolleyes:

Green_Faery
Mar 3rd, 2005, 02:45 AM
my most common response: "What do you eat?!" (horrified expression) my replies *ummm, FOOD!* and (when I'm an a sarcastic mood) *babies!*

and

"I could never do that." - *I thought so too before I became vegan but once I made the decision, it was really easy.*

another one:

"I understand not eating meat, but what's wrong with milk?" -then I go on to explain how the process is horrible they keep them pumped full of hormones and treat them badly and they don't naturally produce that much milk, they keep them pregnant and that sort of thing so they produce longer, etc...

and of course the "animals will take over the world" excuse. =P ummmm, only if they continue to inseminate them artificially and what would be the point of that?

I've also heard #8, 10, 22, 25, 36, and 40 more than once.

Imapeach
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:34 AM
I actually had a rather pleasant experience with an omni during a lovely vegan dinner last night. He looked at me and said he was interested in why I am vegan, so I gave him a brief summary of my reasons and concluded by saying that I could talk about the issue for hours... and he did NOT argue with me! It was very nice to have a genuinely curious, non defensive/offensive omnivore at the dinner table for a change :D I wish every vegan could have this oppurtunity from time to time, it certainly helps one regain their faith in society.

PinkFluffyCloud
Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:07 AM
"Vee-gaans??????? Oh, those f****d-up people who won't have milk or eggs?????"
[Quote from a teenaged Waiter in a VEGETARIAN Cafe when asked for Vegan items by me, the customer!].

kriz
Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:13 AM
I'm so happy you're back, fluffy! ;)

Korn
Mar 19th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Hi, I just added a slightly modified version of the original list as a 'multiple choice'-poll.

dreama
Mar 20th, 2005, 06:57 PM
This may make me unpopular but I don't think you should discourage poeple from eating organic/genuinely free range meat. I dare say there is some cruelty involved but not anything like the kind of cruelty in factory farming. I think it's a step in the right direction. At least they are sourcing their meat which is something most meat eaters I know DONT do. Besides its less money in the hands of the factory farm industry if everyone stopped buying their meat. You never know. They may go vegan latter. Like I did.

I get infuriated when people say they prefere factory farmed meat because it's cheaper. I hate cheap meat.

I also get a load of the 'murdering carrot jokes'. I'm quite open with the idea of plants having feelings but you have to eat something and you need plants to feed animals but don't need animals to feed plants.

After The Rain
Mar 24th, 2005, 11:25 AM
This may make me unpopular but I don't think you should discourage poeple from eating organic/genuinely free range meat. It would make you popular, because that's the way most people think, except vegans, who discourage people from eating all kinds of meat.

dreama
Mar 24th, 2005, 12:19 PM
It would make you popular, because that's the way most people think, except vegans, who discourage people from eating all kinds of meat.

Thanks, I'm glad of this.